***During the course of the Japanese Mandalas exhibition, two other installations take place concurrently in The Sackler Wing Galleries for the Arts of Japan. The first installation, Astonishing Silhouettes: Western Fashion in 19th-Century Japanese Prints, explores the illustration of Western dress by Japanese ukiyo-e print artists in the latter half of the 19th century, when Japan encountered Western fashion. The installation focuses on Yokohama prints from the early 1860s showing colorful Japanese renditions of Westerners in Western dress. The installation also displays Meiji prints of the 1880s depicting members of the Japanese elite in Western clothing, which they adopted along with other elements of Western culture. A number of 19th-century French fashion illustrations and an American dress from the 1880s are shown for comparison. Brilliantly executed Yokohama prints by ukiyo-e artists such as Gountei Sadahide (active ca. 1807-1873), Utagawa Yoshitora (active ca. 1850-1880), and Utagawa Yoshikazu (active ca. 1850-1870) are on view. A striking American dress with an emphatic bustle extending from an elongated waist is displayed to embody the fashion silhouette of the 1880s. Works in the installation are drawn from the collections of the Museum's Asian Art Department, Costume Institute, and Department of Drawings and Prints. The exhibition puts on view for the first time the Museum's holdings in Yokohama prints from the collection of William S. Lieberman (1923-2005), former chairman of the Museum's Department of Modern Art.
* * *The second installation is a selection of masterworks by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891) and his contemporaries. A virtuoso in lacquer painting, Zeshin was one of the few Japanese artists of the late 19th century who was recognized in the West. A counterpoint to such Meiji print artists as Toyohara Chikanobu (1838 - 1912), whose most famous work focused on elites in Western dress (an example that is included in the Astonishing Silhouettes installation), Zeshin's work captures the spirit of the pastimes of the commoners of the city of Edo as it was becoming the modern-day capital of Tokyo under the new Meiji regime. The installation includes Autumn Grasses in Moonlight (ca. 1872-91), one of Zeshin's finest screen paintings, and a writing box with design of a gourd with butterflies (1886), a masterpiece demonstrating the artist's technical prowess.
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Japanese Mandalas: Emanations and Avatars is organized by Sinéad Kehoe with the assistance of Joyce Denney, Assistant Curator, and Masako Watanabe, Senior Research Associate, both of the Museum's Asian Art Department. Astonishing Silhouettes: Western Fashion in 19th-Century Japanese Prints is organized by Joyce Denney and Masako Watanabe, with the assistance of Sinéad Kehoe; Jan Reeder, Consulting Curator in The Costume Institute; and Cora Michael, Assistant Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints. Shibata Zeshin is organized by Mami Hatayama, Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow, Department of Asian Art. Japanese Mandalas: Emanations and Avatars is featured on the Museum's website (http://www.metmuseum.org/).
# # #Visitor Information Hours: Fridays and Saturdays 9:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Sundays, Tuesdays-Thursdays 9:30 a.m. -5:30 p.m. Met Holiday Mondays in the Main Building: September 7, October 12, December 28, 2009; January 18, February 15, May 31, 2010 9:30 a.m. -5:30 p.m. Met Holiday Mondays sponsored by CIT All other Mondays closed; Jan. 1, Thanksgiving, and Dec. 25 closed Recommended Admission (Includes Main Building and The Cloisters Museum and Gardens on the Same Day) Adults $20.00, seniors (65 and over) $15.00, students $10.00 Members and children under 12 accompanied by adult free Advance tickets available at www.TicketWeb.com or 1-800-965-4827 For More Information (212) 535-7710; http://www.metmuseum.org/ No extra charge for any exhibition. Contact: Elyse Topalian/Naomi Takafuchi tel (212) 570-3951 fax (212) 472-2764 firstname.lastname@example.org